CSOs declare COP26 a total failure, vow to act


Charles Mwangi, a Kenyan climate activist attending the COP26 negotiations joins a protest in the streets of Glasgow, UK, on Saturday, where they demanded more seriousness from developed nations’ representatives.[Courtesy, Standard]

The 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) is turning out to be a total failure, African Civil Society leaders have declared. Speaking on Saturday during the Global Day of Action that was marked by demonstrations around the city of Glasgow, Mithika Mwenda, a Kenyan and Executive Director of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, said there was little to look forward to for the continent.

According to Dr Mithika, COP26 is a total failure. It is not capturing the aspirations of the people of Africa and neither are the voices of Africa and vulnerable groups adequately represented.

“What brought us here are issues such as climate finance, adaptation and special needs and circumstances region status. But they have been expunged from the COP 26 agenda. I don’t think anything will come up from this COP,” said Mithika.

He said what was coming from the discussion rooms showed lack of political will, and that the inaction would impact future generations.  

Citing the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Mithika said the street demonstration by civil society groups was used to tell leaders to know it would not be business as usual, and that people would not be going for the COP meetings to witness lack of progress from the discussion rooms. 

“We want local communities to know the windows for endless discussion for leaders are closing. We want the global community to know the solution to climate change will not come from the discussion rooms, people must take it upon themselves to find solutions.”

The street march involved several interest and pressure groups, including local farmers, fisher folk, women, the youth and vulnerable communities from indigenous communities. Godwin Ojo from Nigeria, while protesting, said he was tired of exclusionary tendencies governing discussions at the conference.

He said all these groups had failed to either get a physical platform to express their views or if they do write, their memos get quashed.

“They are all here out of frustration and see this street march as their only solution to be heard or voice their concern to the powers that be.” 

Speaking in Glasgow last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed Africa’s disappointment at the COP26 leadership’s failure to adopt Africa’s key asks in the conference’s agenda.